The Marketing Word | Differentiation Marketing

TAG | brand

Branding

Your brand is not just a logo or the colors on your packaging. It's not your nickname, especially if it involves the words "diva", "goddess", "king" or "guy" (I really don't want to be defended in court by "The Litigation Guy").

Your brand is the entire experience people have when they deal with you and your company, from the advertisement they first see, your website, your product or service and most importantly, they way they are treated throughout the process.

I think one of the things that business people miss is they are so focused on trying to be clever or catchy or that all-elusive "viral" that they never put themselves in their customers' shoes. It's not about you. (Sorry.) It's about what you can do for your customer.

You have the opportunity to set yourself apart from every other business in your niche. Branding doesn't just happen. It is a conscious decision on your part to create a positive experience for your clients. So grab a pad of paper, a glass of wine or cup of tea and sit down someplace quiet to ask yourself these questions:

What problems do your clients bring you to resolve?
If you were that person, how would you like to be treated? What would the ideal process be?

How can you differentiate yourself from your competitors? Is it attitude? Is it amenities that you offer? Can you do something extra that shows an extra level of caring?

Here's an example. I took a pair of shoes to be re-soled. Most shoe repair shops look the same: a little dusty, pairs of shoes that have been repaired; some that have not been picked up. Shoes in various states of repair. The smell of glue and leather. This shop was no different.

The man took in my shoes, gave me a ticket and a time to come back. He had the personality of a small plastic soap dish. Not offensive, but nothing to make your head swing. His price was right in line with other shops. When I picked up the shoes, they had been re-soled and re-heeled. But they had not been polished.

Now I know that not every shoe repair place polishes the shoes as part of the service. But it takes about five minutes and makes the shoes look fantastic. It's a way of saying that they are proud of their work. It's an extra bit of service that could make them stand out from their competitors. This guy missed.

Yes, polishing the shoes is a small detail. But it is the type of thing you are looking for to start laying the foundation of your branding. What can you do to make the customers' experience with you different from their experience with anyone else? What can you do to make your customers' experience with you better? Think in these terms and your brand will emerge.

Remember: It doesn't have to be perfect. It just has to be done.

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Funny vs. Mean

My friend Bob Burg has a post on his blog (burg.com)that got me thinking (as he usually does) on using foul language and mean humor in speaking, blog posts, on social media sites, etc. My language is not pure so I can't comment on that....  (my mother did teach me better, I just didn't listen). I did have some thoughts on using humor.  I worked (briefly) as a stand up comic and I can tell you a lot of stuff that DOESN'T work when it comes to humor.  But I'll save that for a longer post.  These are just some quick thoughts:

Humor is very tricky -- it's not only extremely subjective but if your timing is off, it just doesn't work.  What makes something funny is the revealed truth within the statement -- that's why the half-apology "just kidding" after a stinging remark doesn't begin to mitigate what was said.  You can poke fun at yourself, but as a speaker you have to be careful not to undermine your standing as an expert.
You can also poke fun at a situation.  This is about the safest way to go, since the revealed truth doesn't "hurt" anyone.  The beautiful thing about humor is that it can reveal a shared experience (we all know what it's like to ALWAYS choose the slowest checkout line) that helps the audience bond with you as the speaker and with each other.

Humor is very tricky -- it's not only extremely subjective but if your timing is off, it just doesn't work.  What makes something funny is the revealed truth within the statement -- that's why the half-apology "just kidding" after a stinging remark doesn't begin to mitigate what was said.

You can poke fun at yourself, but as a speaker you have to be careful not to undermine your standing as an expert.  You can also poke fun at a situation.  This is about the safest way to go, since the revealed truth doesn't "hurt" anyone.  The beautiful thing about humor is that it can reveal a shared experience (we all know what it's like to ALWAYS choose the slowest checkout line) that helps the audience bond with you as the speaker and with each other.

There's a huge difference between club humor and humor intended for general audiences.  There's also a matter of how you want to be known or your "brand".   I don't work with people if I need to walk on eggshells around them.  Part of my "brand" is that I tell it like it is.  (I had to make it part of my brand -- I don't have enough filters between my brain and my mouth.)  Can you use strong language and weird humor?  Yes.  Just know that it will affect who you work with and therefore your earning power.

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Stand Out Marketing

FACT:  WOMEN MAKE 70% – 80% OF ALL RETAIL BUYING DECISIONS.

Women use different language, have different expectations and are attracted by different color schemes than men.

FACT:  YOUR BRAND IS NOT YOUR LOGO, COLOR SCHEME OR COMPANY  NAME.

Your brand is the experience your clients and prospects have every time they deal with your company.

FACT:  YOUR CUSTOMERS ARE ASSAULTED BY 3,000 MEDIA MESSAGES A DAY.

You need to stand out from your competition and stand above all the marketing messages that people are assaulted by every day. 

FACT:  THE MARKETING LANDSCAPE HAS CHANGED AND YOU NEED TO CHANGE WITH IT.

Americans have been hit hard with job losses, housing losses and retirement losses. There is a shift occurring in the way your customers, male and female, buy. 

  • Have you anticipated the new needs of your clients?
  • Can you differentiate yourself to stand above your competition?
  • Are your marketing efforts doomed to fail?

GET YOUR MESSAGE HEARD!

 I'll be bringing you low-cost to no-cost marketing strategies, copywriting tips and techniques and innovative methods to get your message through the clutter, online and offline.

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August 2017
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